The leading drivers in the World Rally Championship have been confirmed for the inaugural WRC Fafe Rally Sprint on Saturday March 24.
The drivers will contest the 3.7-mile Fafe-Lameirinha stage as a precursor to Portugal's round of the World Rally Championship which starts five days later in Lisbon.
The Rally Sprint is an effort from the organizers of Rally of Portugal to engage with fans in the north of the country, having moved the event away from its traditional heartland in 2007 when the event returned to the calendar based in the Algarve.
Citroen drivers Sebastien Loeb and Mikko Hirvonen will both compete at the Rally Sprint, as will Ford's Jari-Matti Latvala and Petter Solberg. In total there will be 13 World Rally Car drivers in action – including local hero Armindo Araujo, who is certain to draw the loudest cheer along what is probably one of the most famous stages in Portugal.
The Rally Sprint organizers have promised there will be plenty of local drivers to bolster the event, along with some surprise entries.
The Rally of Portugal is the fourth round of this year's WRC and, after a superspecial in Lisbon, returns south to the coast, where it is based out of the Algarve Stadium in Faro.